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Biosphere, Fauna and Flora in Cuba Naturaleza
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Showy Chalicevine (Solandra Grandiflora), an endemic flower to Cuba

Showy Chalicevine (Solandra Grandiflora)
Scientific name: Solandra Grandiflora
Common name (english): Showy Chalicevine
Common name (spanish): Cáliz

Showy Chalicevine (Solandra Grandiflora) is an endemic flower to Cuba. Consists in striking vine with glossy leaves and large showy white to yellow flowers. Plant near a wall, and water well. Use a slow release fertilizer in the fall. The 6-8 inch flowers are chalice shaped. They have a yellow corolla , with 5 purple lines.

They bloom usually from February until May. Thick stemmed tropical liana with large shiny leaves and large bell shaped golden yellow flowers. The thick and woody ropelike stems branch frequently and root at their nodes, and can run for more than 30-40 ft. (9-12 m), clinging with aerial rootlets and scrambling over everything in the way.

The evergreen leaves are leathery, about 6" long and elliptic, with prominent lighter colored midribs and lateral veins.

They are fragrant, especially at night, with a scent reminiscent of coconut. Cup of gold blooms intermittently through the year, but mainly in the winter dry season. The fruits, rarely seen in cultivation, are round berries, about 2" in diameter.

There are eight species of chalice vines, and they often are confused in the trade. Solandra maxima is the most common species in cultivation and vines offered as S. guttata and S. grandiflora may in fact be this one. The differences are subtle.

Cup of gold is a fast growing vine that thrives in most any well-drained soil. It tolerates severe pruning and blooms on new growth, so it can be cut back at any time of year. The chalice vines are related to the angel trumpets (Datura spp. and Brugmansia spp.), and like them, have hallucinogenic properties. They are used in sacred ceremonies in Mexico.

The Showy Chalicevine (Solandra Grandiflora) has poisonous leaves and flowers. The toxicity of all species of Solandra is believed to be similar. Ingestion of the flowers of S. nitida has caused incoordination, excitability, dilated pupils, swelling of feet and delirium. More severe effects from other parts are suspected to be atropine-like or solanine-like. The sap, an eye hazard, may cause pupil dilation and even blindness. Prolonged inhalation of the flower fragrance has caused dizziness, nausea, headache, pupil dilation and/or a crushed feeling.

 
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© 2017 Nigel Hunt